Sometimes, when it snows, I crave warm, comforting winter foods. Spicy soups, hearty stews, cheesy quiches, and yes, syrup-drenched pancakes. Other times, mid-snow storm, I’ll find myself with a hankering for summer sweetness. I’ve been known to bake up a batch of blueberry corn muffins in a blizzard, and always keep a pint of strawberry ice cream in the freezer for snow days.
I spent the last week in Florida for work, and came home yesterday to this winter wonderland. Sweet, juicy oranges and pretty pink grapefruits were everywhere in Florida. So, of course, I stuffed a few in my suitcase. I’m glad I did because as soon as I got home, I was craving the sunny, bright orange flavor. But, as expected, I was also in the mood for a hearty winter breakfast.
These orange quinoa pancakes fit the bill. They are both sweet and nutty. The hearty texture fills my belly and fortifies me against January weather, while the light orange flavor gives me hope that summer is out there, months away, but out there – eventually. Full of protein, fiber and vitamin C, these delicious little pancakes provide enough power to propel me through shovelling the driveway. (OK, actually, Jeff does most of the shovelling around here, but after a few pancakes, I certainly could get out there and clear the sidewalks!)
I love quinoa, and often cook up a big batch all at once. Leftover cooked quinoa is great in pancakes, of course, but also adds bulk to salads, makes for a tasty omelet filling, and is delicious as a breakfast porridge when heated with a bit of milk and honey. You could certainly play around with the flavors here, and other fruits as well. Adding some banana slices and a handful of raisins to the pancake batter would be yummy. But for today, I’m all about the Florida citrus! These pancakes don’t have much sugar, but if your oranges are good and sweet, just a tiny drizzle of honey is all it should take.
Orange Quinoa Pancakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus extra for the pan)
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 large oranges
2 tablespoons honey
Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, wisk together the milk, oil and egg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir in the quinoa. Zest both of the oranges, avoiding the white pith, and add the orange zest to the batter. Set the batter aside and let it rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, peel the remaining pith from the oranges, and cut the orange segments between the membranes, into little slices. Drizzle the orange segments with the honey and set aside. Heat a greased nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the heated greased pan and cook until the edges firm. Flip and cook another two minutes until golden. Continue to cook the pancakes in batches. Serve warm topped with the orange and honey mixture.